Nigeria advance to African Cup of Nations final

The 2013 African Cup of Nations football tournament took a surprise turn on 6 February when Burkina Faso beat Ghana – one of the favourites – on penalties in a dramatic semi-final in Mbombela, the northeastern South African city.

Burkina Faso won after a 3-2 penalty shoot-out to secure a place for the first time in the finals of the African Cup. It now faces Nigeria in Johannesburg on 10 February after the Nigerian team hammered Mali in a convincing 4-1 win on 6 February in Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Nigeria faces its seventh African Cup final, while Burkina Faso's previous best performance was reaching fourth after being beaten by the Democratic Republic of the Congo the semi-finals in 1998.

Mali and Ghana will battle it out for third place on 9 February in Port Elizabeth. This year's African Cup of Nations, which began on 19 January with 16 teams playing 30 matches, is the 29th edition of the tournament, Out of a total of 47 countries that entered the qualification, including host South Africa which automatically qualified, only 16 countries made the tournament.

Libya was originally to host the event but due to the nation’s civil war in 2011 it traded years with South Africa and will be the host country in 2017 instead. Ethiopia participated for the first time since 1982 but was knocked out in the early stages. First held in 1957, the Africa Cup of Nations has been played every two years since 1968.

Egypt is the most successful nation in the cup's history, winning the tournament a record seven times while Ghana and Cameroon have won four titles each. Neither Egypt nor Cameroon qualified for this year’s event.

Beginning this year, the African Cup of Nations has switched to being held in odd-numbered years so as not to clash with the FIFA World Cup.

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